Thursday, 12 September 2013

Dolphin Coast or what?!!!

Dan Worth invited us out on one of his Alca Torda Sea-Fari Rib trips this morning to make up the numbers . I was feeling rough having developed some lurgy that has turned my brain to glue in a pressure cooker. As our new girl Charis had her boyfriend with her we let them take the available places. Apparently lots of seals were seen and they hads a good trip but no cetaceans. I am not quite sure why but I rang Dan and suggestewd we did another trip when he came back. Maybe I thought Hannah was missing out or maybe the thought that there might be Risso's or something hanging about there had insinuated into the glue pot but anyhow we decided to give it a go.  We had only just cleared the herbour mouth when I noticed what at first appeared to be the nose of a bottling seal ....but then there were three noses and they were ggrowing like Pinocchio...RISSO'S.
We came to a halt about eighty  metres away from where they had been, cut the engine and drifted in tbat kind of silence that always envelops a boat awaiting a cetacean  that has just dived, to reappear.
If it was a pantomime there would have been a shout of "they're behind you!"  but without the help of an audience we just caught them diving again. They next surfaced some distance away and we slowly motored parallel to the spot where they last dived, cut the engines and waited again. This time after a short wait they surfaced nearer the boat although very briefly . We stayed put but they moved further off and the rain began to fall so we left them in peace.  I was playing with a new camera which is my excuse for not getting any decent shots, but Malcolm Barradell had lucked in on the trip and I heard his camera popping off, so I hope he did better than me! Maybe Hannah got some video.
A big note of caution here; Risso's are boat shy and there is no point in chasing them. If you do that, it is harrassment and you can be fined or imprisoned or both if you are caught doing so. We are highly experienced researchers and would have loved to get better pic's to help out with photo ID work curently being carried out but even we are not beyond the law. If You see Cetaceans always allow them to make the decision as to whether they want to come close or move away. At the end of the day we are there to protect them not to harrass them.
On the way back to the Ocean Lab the lurgy developed into man flu and I ran for home and lemsip, so hopefully there will be some pic's to enhance my waffle!

Link to video -